Initiative Reform Proposed

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, March 23, 2006

You may remember the flap over Proposition 77 last year – the redistricting ballot measure; the version circulated for signatures was slightly different than the one submitted to the Attorney General.  
Secretary of State Bruce McPherson says one way to catch such problems would be for his office to review and correct errors *before* signature gathering begins.  That’s what one bill he’s sponsoring would mandate.  Another proposal would require the legislature to review initiatives - and propose a law to the same effect.  If the initiative-backers are ok with any changes made by lawmakers, the measure would move through the legislature instead of being put on the ballot.  McPherson says that would help avoid costly campaigns:

“Voters can get their ideas passed into law without relying on special interests for campaign monies."

Yet another measure attempts to balance the playing field for small grassroots groups, by extending the signature collection period from 150 to 365 days.